While businesses want their website to feel clean and simple, too much simplicity can be confusing. Simplicity can be the key element in an innovative and intuitive design. Unfortunately, UX engineers often confuse simplicity with minimalism. A product may look simple but carry hidden UI complexities that prove daunting to a user.
The concept may sound confusing, but think of it this way: design decisions that aim for minimalism may actually increase a user’s cognitive load, which creates a less intuitive user experience. Common examples may include clickable icons that don’t feature text descriptions or non-standard gestures and illustrations.
One specific case in point is the controversial hamburger menu. This three-line icon can provide a lot of extra information and function within a box, but it can also lead to confusion. In fact, many app users choose not to use it. On the other hand, research suggests some simple swaps can improve a hamburger menu’s use – for example, adding the word “menu” under the icon increased clicks by 7.2%, and putting the hamburger menu inside a box increased them by 22.4%. Getting rid of the three lines in favor of a “menu” button increased clicks by 20%.
In other words, the best intentions can lead to UX failure. The hamburger menu’s minimalist design – three horizontal lines – makes it easy to skim over. It’s also not a standard icon, and it means different things to different users. It doesn’t say, “Hey! Here are more features to look at.”
An additional problem with the hamburger menu is that it also hides potentially valuable content from your users. When you lock something away in the hamburger menu, you’re making it less discoverable. Your website might look better, but it’s also less intuitive. This is a prime example of minimalism, not simplicity.
The web is full of examples where minimalist aesthetics led to user confusion. Here are just a couple:
Now that you know that the behind-the-scenes and the displayed platform of web design los angeles are two very different things, you might be having some other questions on your mind. The first of these might be about deciding what design your brand should go ahead with on its platform. There is a dichotomy. How, then, can designers find the delicate balance between an intuitive design and a simple one? First, know what you are looking for. Simplicity in design is a lack of complexity and increases UX. Simple websites are easy to understand, intuitive to navigate and leave a user with a positive experience.
The next thing that you need to do is make a distinction between what constitutes a website redesign and what contributes to the working of the overall site as part of UI and UX. Minimalism or cleanliness is a design principle. Minimalist sites have a lot of whitespaces and don’t speak to a user’s experience; these sites are about form more than function. What matter is how it looks, not what it does.
These two concepts are important to differentiate because fewer buttons and options do not make a website simple. It may make it look clean, but it can confuse users and tank positive UX. Instead of killing usability for a minimal style, a good concept for designers to remember is “necessary complexity.” In other words, what information do your users require to navigate your website or application with ease?
Websites like Facebook and Craigslist don’t feature minimalist designs. There’s very little whitespace, and they can even appear cluttered at times. However, it’s basic – your grandmother likely has a Facebook account; users know how to find the information they’re looking for. While designers hear repeatedly to make their websites aesthetically attractive, they often confuse this with simplicity.
Designers face a conundrum: how can they balance an attractive website with an intuitive one? Is it even possible to strike this balance or do you have to keep experimenting with website redesign services till you find the right UI and UX for your site? It’s possible with the right approach. Try these tips:
Branding agencies say that the most important thing a person is going to remember about your brand is the way that it made them feel. This relates to not only the storytelling you put out for your viewers but also the ease with which they can use the services that are provided by your brand, which also includes the ease with which they can use your website. This is exactly why you need to keep the wishes of your user at the forefront whenever you are doing any work that is related to your brand. Your website may be clean, but this doesn’t make it intuitive. A simple website relates to usability, not its look. To create an attractive yet intuitive website, use the basic principles of design to your advantage, such as color, symmetry, and signifiers. Designers can sometimes get bogged down by aesthetics and use tricks to create a clean look – when it comes to user experience, however, it’s best to go back to the basics.
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